Kelli on Physiotherapy, Farming and the Local Council

Kelli Prime
Jaitmathang Land (Tawonga, Victoria)
Sport, exercise, health care, community

Being led by my passions

What do you do?

I work as a Physiotherapist as my everyday job as well as being an elected Councillor on Alpine Shire Council. Outside of this my boyfriend and I run a small beef farm together and I milk cows on weekends.

What did you do after year 12?

I didn’t have enough money to go to Uni straight away, so I did what a lot of my mates also did and took a gap year. I worked four different jobs during this time as it’s hard to get full time employment in a small town. I then moved to Albury the year after to complete a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University in Albury.

How did growing up rural help you get to where you are today? 

From a healthcare perspective, I have a real appreciation for what services we have access to and what services are significantly lacking in rural and regional areas. Often people have to travel long distances or miss out altogether, particularly when it comes to specialised services. A few years ago, I began specialising in pelvic health Physiotherapy, an area which is often lacking in country areas. I really enjoy being able to offer this service to local people who still need to travel up to 2 hours to see me.
Having grown up in the Kiewa Valley, I have a lot of love for this place. I noticed a few years ago that a lot of friends my age were moving home (like me) and I realised that this demographic should be represented at the local government level.

What do you love about your jobs?

Joining the local Council has been a great learning curve for me, it’s completely different from any other job I’ve had, and I enjoy learning how local government works from the inside. It’s helped me improve my assertiveness and I’m a much more confident public speaker as well.

Having specialised in pelvic health Physiotherapy for a few years now, I enjoy working with people to improve their lives with what are generally very sensitive and difficult to discuss topics. For some people, making improvements in this area can be life changing for them.

What would you like to achieve in the next few years as a Councillor?

I am very passionate about waste management and waste reduction and improving this wherever we can.
Having grown up on a farm I also like to see farming land protected from development where possible.
I would also like to use my platform to encourage other young people to run for Council. Typically, it is seen as something for older people to do and it’s something that never occurred to me to do until I had a friend my age who had successfully run for Council.

What advice do you have for rural young Australians?

Never make fun of where you grew up because you don’t know if you’ll end up back there some day! Also never let anyone make you feel silly if you want to move back to or stay living in a rural/regional area. I remember when I decided to move back to North East Victoria, several people made it seem like a backwards step. But for both my career and lifestyle it was the best thing I could’ve done.

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